Gates: Negro Leagues written record suprisingly scant

From SABR member Jim Gates at on February 25, 2016:

Given the vast body of literature that seems to cover every aspect of our National Pastime, it seems curious the story of the Negro Leagues has only recently become part of the published record.

In fact, it is not just the Negro leagues but African-American baseball history in general which was hidden from view for many decades. When one examines the written record of baseball history, the historiography of black baseball presents an astounding chronology.

African-Americans have been playing baseball as long as any other segment of American society. But prior to 1970, the published record of this participation is extremely weak. While bits and pieces of this story can be gleaned from early newspaper accounts, the initial attempt to relate this story in book form occurred in 1907 when future Hall of Fame inductee Sol White published Sol White’s Base Ball Guide, also known as the History of Colored Base-ball.

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Originally published: February 25, 2016. Last Updated: February 25, 2016.